Baptists and the American Civil War: June 26, 1861

First Baptist Church Forsyth GeorgiaThaddeus Sobieski Coulincourt Lowe (August 20, 1832 – January 16, 1913) – otherwise known as Professor Lowe – uses his flying balloon to spy on Confederate camps near Fairfax, Virginia. Union calvarymen are dispatched to locate the Confederates, but come up empty-handed.

Lowe is a pioneering aeronaut, scientist and inventor. In July U.S. President Abraham Lincoln appoints Lowe as Chief Aeronaut of the Union Army Balloon Corps.

Further South, rumors abound and many believe the North will soon offer peace terms to the Confederacy.

In her diary, Julia Stanford, a young Baptist woman who is a member of First Baptist Church of Forsyth, Georgia, reflects on nature, God, and war, her thoughts optimistic on a nice summer Wednesday far from battlefronts:

Oh! What a good and refreshing shower! Such a grand display of electricity! We may look for health and harvest. how good and great is our God!!!

Heard the Quitmans [Guards] had a Skirmish – 17 killed and a No. taken prisoners. None of the Quitmans hurt. Everyone is looking forward to a speedy peace. So may it be – Didn’t go to prayer meeting in consequence of this rain than which nothing could be more welcome.

Sources: More information on Thaddeus Lowe (here and here); “The Diary of Miss Julia A. Stanford” (A copy is available in the Mercer University Georgia Baptist History Depository, Macon, Georgia)